updated 10:30 am EDT, Wed March 21, 2012
Orange makes ten mobile commitments for Europe
French wireless provider Orange revealed on Tuesday that it plans to launch 4G LTE networks in all 10 of the European Union member countries the carrier operates in by 2015. At the same time, three million NFC-capable handsets will be made for Europe in 2012, while 10 million are vowed for next year. Part of 10 promises, the carrier also said it will provide 80 percent of the population of Africa and the Middle East with a 3G network.
The carrier discussed these changes during an event where European Commission digital chief Neelie Kroes was present. Orange shored up the Commission's Digital Agenda for Europe, which has focused heavily on making broadband accessible to more of the population.
Orange added that Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) is coming to 15 million French homes and 80 percent of businesses by 2020. It will be a participant in the rollout of very high speed broadband in its European markets. By 2015, the provider said it will bring a privacy dashboard to subscribers, giving them better control of their own data.
Other promises included offering consumer cloud services from environmentally-friendly data centers in Europe, launching Rich Communication Suite (RCS) services in five European countries by 2013, and 20 million RCS phones in 15 countries by 2015.
There was further the commitment of providing as many as one third of EU hospitals and a fifth of the citizens with digitized health services, as well as increasing the percentage of women in the company's top management from 23 to 35 percent by 2015. Finally, CO2 emissions should be reduced by 20 percent by 2020 versus what they were in 2006.